Arrival has Sicario (2015) director Denis Villeneuve swapping gang drug violence for intellectual drama about the arrival of a new species. Eric Heisserer (Lights Out) has adapted Ted Chiang's 1998 novella Story Of Your Life (the film originally used that as its title), which finds a linguist named Louise Banks (Adams) pressed into service to figure out an alien language when a dozen mysterious pods appear in the atmosphere and hover over our planet.
Looking to capture a tone nearer to that of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977) than Roland Emmerich, Adams explains the appeal. "This isn't a graphic novel universe or creating a new universe. This happens in our world today, as it exists," she tells USA Today. "Not having to transport myself to a universe where superheroes exist, which is also fun, really helped me ground the character and the experience."
Also brought in to help is a physicist named Ian Donnelly (Renner), who will prove invaluable. "I haven't played a smart nerdy guy," he says. "I thought there was a great challenge in that." For more on the film, head to USA Today's website.
Arrival lands in cinemas on 11 November.